San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Component home audio roared back in 2006, and although it's unlikely to relive its glory days, it's getting more respect from dealers and consumers, based on factory-level sales statistics compiled by the Consumer Electronics Association.
Sony stepped up its Dream System and ES-series receiver selection, launched its first PC-networked shelf system, and expanded its selection of SACD/DVD-Video players with HDMI outputs that up-scale video sources to the high-definition 720p or 1,080i formats.
Here's what Sony unveiled to dealers at its recent line show, here:
Dolby Digital EX receivers and preamps will turn up for the first time at CES, where other suppliers will unveil their first THX Ultra2-certified electronics and their first products equipped with DTS 96/24. Here's what dealers will find:
Component-audio suppliers will return to CES in January in a somewhat celebratory mood after the industry posts what is expected to be the first annual component-sales gain in almost a decade.
For the January-October 2004 period, factory-level component sales rose 38.1 percent to $1.05 billion, following eight consecutive years of decline, according to CEA statistics.
For two-channel aficionados, systems suppliers will concentrate more than ever on microsystems and wall-hanging systems to build share, and component suppliers plan to show everything from CD changers to vacuum-tube preamps. Here's what dealers will find:
TWICE: Will component audio survive only as the hub of a custom-installed multiroom audio system, or as the hub of a custom-installed home theater system?
Klipsch: Custom installed multiroom audio systems and home theater rooms are where the growth is, so as we move into the future, I think component audio will become even more dependent on the custom installation channel.